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CNET First Look
High-end aspirations unmet in HP Envy 23 all-in-oneHP plays it too safe with this higher-end version of its Envy 23 all-in-one, leaving little to recommend it.
Hi. I'm Rich Brown for CNET, and I'm here today with the HP ENVY 23 Windows 8 All-in-One. This is a mainstream touchscreen all-in-one from HP, and it starts at about 1100 bucks. The HP has actually submitted a very high end review unit. It comes in about $2,000 for this particular configuration. This model has a Core i7 CPU, 16 gigs of RAM, a 2-terabyte hard drive, as well as an entry-level NVIDIA graphics chip. Now unfortunately for HP, there's nothing here that really distinguishes this system from other all-in-one PCs that have come out with Windows 8. Thanks to the Core i7 chip, it's about as fast as other PCs in that 2,000-dollar price range, but the 16 gigs of RAM doesn't really do much for mainstream workloads. If you're a professional, you might benefit from that much memory, but for the day-to-day mainstream users that are gonna buy a system like this, you're probably better off with a higher-end graphics card. Now on other systems in that price range that we've seen, 27-inch screens, very high-resolution displays, features like Thunderbolt, Wi-Fi, NFC, even gesture control, now not all of those are useful, but at least they're something and you can't add those to the system via HP's configurator. Instead it's just a generic all-in-one that we've seen dozens of times before. It just happens to have a higher end set of Core features. Now it does get most of the basic notes right. This is a 19 x 10 resolution touchscreen and it's responsive enough, works pretty well. You can see. You can start air hockey here. You can see the touchscreen isn't perfect though. There's some drag, so it's not as good as a typical high-end smartphone or tablet. So for its other features, there's a slot-loading Blu-ray drive; that's nice to have. There's also an HDMI input which is always useful unless you turn the system into a home entertainment hub, if you connect a game console or a cable box. And on the back and the sides, you can see a basic set of ports. There's USB 3, SD card, various audio inputs. It also has a TV tuner which is nice to have, but we've probably rather see some higher end ports particularly in this price range. For example, with 16 gigs of RAM, you're certainly targeting higher end performance-oriented users. In that case, a Thunderbolt port would probably make some sense. So in this lower end configuration, this is a fine if unremarkable mainstream all-in-one. At this high-end price though, HP doesn't really deliver enough to set the system apart from the other competitors in this price range. So I'm Rich Brown. This is the HP ENVY 23.